I recently got to chat with one of my hometown heroes, Bryan Bradley of I Will Keep Your Ghost, about upcoming music projects, the arts scene in Everett, and some of his favorite experiences of being a Washington musician. Read on …
EJ: Until recently, It’s been very quiet on the I Will Keep Your Ghost front. What have you guys been up to since the release of It’s Natural?
BB: After the EP release, we played a few months of live shows, and then took some time off to work on new material. The band has gone through several lineup changes; IWKYG changed from a duo to a solo project, then back to a duo with the addition of a new member, Doug Evans, formerly of Everett band Preacher’s Wife. Currently we’ve been spending our time working on writing material for an upcoming release.
EJ: What drew you to your current musical style?
BB: I grew up here in the Pacific Northwest, and when I was in middle school and learning to play guitar, I was a big fan of rock bands like Nirvana, Hum, Smashing Pumpkins, Beck; just most of the 90’s alternative stuff. I would always listen to 1077 The End, and when Marco Collins started playing artists like The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers; Underworld, etc., I was hooked. I continued to play in rock bands for years, but started working with music software and synths on the side. It wasn’t until about 2009-2010 that I decided to pursue electronic music as a main gig.
EJ: What was the inspiration behind the band’s name?
BB: It’s about remembering; or the idea of what physically constitutes a memory.
EJ: What do you consider to be a defining moment in the existence of I Will Keep Your Ghost?
BB: Performing live on KEXP was pretty surreal. It’s a favorite radio station of ours, and many of my favorite bands have played in that same room, so it was quite the experience to be a part of that.
EJ: What would be the model for your dream tour, and who would accompany you on it?
BB: I’d love to do a West Coast tour, but if we’re talking “dream tour”, I think Iceland would be amazing. It’s an incredibly beautiful place, and a there’s a lot of fantastic music in that part of the world. I think bringing along some talented local electronic musicians would be great too; like CUFF LYNX or Manatee Commune.
EJ: What is your favorite song from your childhood, and why does it stick out?
BB: I can’t really put my finger on a song in particular, but some of my favorite albums growing up (and still today) would probably be Paul McCartney’s “Ram”, Elvis Costello’s “My Aim is True”, “Rhythm of Youth” by Men Without Hats, and any/every album from the Talking Heads.
EJ: Who are your favorite local bands right now, small and large?
BB: There’s so many great local bands right now; probably too many to list, but I’m a big fan of Deep Sea Diver, Cataldo, Kairos, Smokey Brights, Kithkin (RIP), local Everett buds Fauna Shade and Preacher’s Wife, and the aforementioned CUFF LYNX and Manatee Commune.
EJ: What do you see as the greatest strength of the local music scene as it is now?
BB: EMI (the Everett Music Initiative), and their ability to link other musicians together to spawn new ideas, but also to organize. EMI is a group of people in Everett, WA that know how to get people together, which I think most musicians themselves tend to be bad at. From a broader view, I think the NW is pretty lucky to have I-5 and be sort of isolated from the rest of the country. That gives us an edge to build momentum here, and I think that’s why a lot of good music comes out from the region.
EJ: What Everett food joint helps get your creative juices flowing?
BB: Being vegetarian leaves very few (good) food options for us in Everett, so we typically just cook at home, and have snacks and beer during rehearsals.
EJ: What can we expect from the band in the near future?
BB: I think the future of music and how it’s released in general is a question that begs to be asked, but we have been writing and recording demos in our home studio, and are in the midst of outlining our future release. We’re still trying to figure out what that release looks like, whether it’s another EP or a full-length album, but things are in the works. It’s an interesting process trying to balance life in your 30’s and still find the time to play and write music. It’s challenging, for sure, but it’s rewarding.
I’d really like to thank Bryan for answering my questions. It’s Natural was one of the first music releases I ever reviewed (read that post here), and I remember shifting around my schedule so I could listen to the KEXP performance mentioned above. I’m really excited to hear the new material. It feels like this blog is starting to come full circle, especially since W\A\M’s 1-year anniversary is this Wednesday.
Anyway, my sentimentality aside, you should check out I Will Keep Your Ghost on the interwebs.